HYPNOSIS IN A MEDICAL PRACTICE

A message from Dr. Sheldon: If you’re like I was before I investigated medical hypnosis, the word conjures visions of cheesy nightclub acts or of the lay people who come through town offering group smoking cessation for $39.95. Those types of hypnosis exist, but they’re a world apart from how physicians of all specialties as well as dentists and psychologists are researching, publishing and practicing doctoral-level hypnosis.

For an excellent overview please see Mayo Clinic Proceedings, April 2005;80(4):511-524. Call me if you’d like and I’ll email you a copy.

How to refer patients

Simple: Give your patient my contact info or refer him or her to this website. There’s no charge for them to come in for a 20-30 minute meet-the-doctor visit.

What sort of patients to refer

Your toughest ones! I added hypnosis to my therapeutic armamentarium because as a family physician I ran into patients for whom usual interventions didn't provide adequate relief. Hypnosis is often helpful for conditions like tinnitus, irritable bowel syndrome, postherpetic neuralgia, bruxism, needle phobias and an inability to use CPAP gear or endure an MRI. If you’re not certain, give me a call.

Learn how to do
hypnosis yourself

I’d be delighted to meet you, either because you’re interested in learning hypnosis yourself or just curious. If the former, please know that even if you don’t use it formally it will change the way you use language with your patients and help you avoid the common pitfalls of the nocebo effect, in which words we use to describe an outcome create a negative expectation that influences our patients.